To get another cat even though DH says No?

(43 Posts)
AndyWarholsBanana Fri 17-Jan-14 14:07:40

We have a delightful soppy very friendly cat which we got from a rescue centre 7 years. This was DH's idea.he's no bother at all and the 3Dcs adore him.
Recently, DD went through this long phase of being desperate for a dog. I did consider this but decided that it wouldn't be fair as we're all out all day. as a compromise, I said that we could get another cat. DH said No and his explanation was that our cat would kill the new one (?)
Me and the Dcs recently went to an open day at the same rescue centre, they took our details and we had a look at the kitties with lots of cooing and ahhing from Dcs. The centre were quite happy for us to get another cat and gave us some tips about how to introduce them to each other but saw no problem with it.
When i told DH this, he got really angry and said "I've said no and that's that" and has made it clear that the subject is now closed. i just think he's being completely unreasonable, especially as it was his idea to get our cat!
DH can be controlling at times but this is more about him being stubborn and just refusing to back doen. I'm seriously tempted to just go ahead and get one anyway as the Dcs are desperate and i don't see why his view should override the other 4 members of the family.

Hoppinggreen Fri 17-Jan-14 14:12:55

I am an animal lover and have 2 cats at the moment.
We used to have 4, 2 of which were strays and at some point we will be getting a dog. I would NEVER bring an animal into the house without all members of the family being on board with it, even a hamster!!
He wanted a cat - not necessarily lots of cats, stop going to rescue centre open days, it's nt fair for you, the children or the rescue centre.

BadLad Fri 17-Jan-14 14:15:47

This exact same dilemma came up about two days ago. Do a search and you will get a preview of your responses

steff13 Fri 17-Jan-14 14:15:50

Has he offered any other reason why he doesn't want another cat, other than that your existing cat might kill it? I've had cats my whole life, and I've never personally heard of one killing another one. I'm guess it happens, but it's certainly not typical, I don't think.

I would not just get a cat if my husband didn't agree, but I would also not accept him just saying no and refusing to discuss it, either.

haggisaggis Fri 17-Jan-14 14:26:16

It is really difficult to introduce a 2nd cat to an existing cat - and doesn't always work out (even if you follow the rescue centre advice to teh letter). Whiel your existing cat is unlikely to kill the newcomer, he may be distressed if you introduce another one. We got a second cat around 2 months ago when one of our cats died suddenly. The rescue centre said he was "good with dogs and cats". He's not. It has taken us a lot of work to get to the stage where he and the existing cat and dog can be in teh same room. He peed everywhere for a while (probably due to stress). In retrospect we should have taken him back after a week or so. I agree with your dh on this one!

mollypup Fri 17-Jan-14 14:35:44

Although I completely understand your frustration, I wouldn't just go and get another one without him at least being relatively ok with the idea i.e. just needs convincing.

It may be difficult to introduce a new cat depending on how territorial your current cat is. I was able to introduce our male kitten to my female when she was a few months old (they are now the best of friends) but I wouldn't dream of attempting to introduce another cat to him, he would go berserk as he is is very protective of his surroundings and hisses at any of the hundred cats around us who dare set foot in the garden!

Stellaface Fri 17-Jan-14 14:38:08

Sorry, I love cats but YABU. You discussed it, he said no, and instead of discussing it further, you went behind his back and worse, brought DCs into it. Not fair re getting their hopes up or giving them fuel to pester your DH, let along undermining your DH. If you want another pet, work on a compromise with your DH and then do something about it.

catsmother Fri 17-Jan-14 15:05:32

I've had at least 2 cats for the past 20 years - and mostly, 4 or 5 at a time. Multi-cat households are possible - but they require a lot of dedication and effort (e.g. with careful introductions and ensuring they all get attention), a lot of patience, care with feeding so more dominant animals don't get all the food, the "right" house (as in plenty of spaces for individual cats to "escape" to and feel safe in, as well as ready exits so they don't feel "trapped"), the "right" neighbourhood so cats feel happy to go out when they need to get away from the others, commitment to lifelong care and vet's bills .... and of course, the "right" cat(s) because not all of them are capable of living with other cats, however dopey they are with humans, and on this, you must be guided both by the observations and recommendations of the shelter as well as your own gut instinct.

But overriding all those considerations, and this applies to any pet - whether it's one or twenty (not that I'm advocating 20 cats) is that ALL the family have to be on board 101%. No reputable shelter would let you take a cat if they knew your DH had reservations - however unreasonable you think he is. And if you get a cat from elsewhere - potentially for example, an advert out of a local paper, you'd not only possibly be encouraging the twats who breed for profit and/or who can't be bothered to get their poor cat(s) neutered, but you'd also be storing up a huge heap of trouble in your relationship.

I do see why you think it's unfair when most of you want another cat and he doesn't. But really, it's the adults whose opinions count here and this is a similar(ish) dilemma to the old chestnut where one person wants a baby and the other doesn't because there isn't a compromise. It's either one thing or another.

From the cat's perspective, and that's both of your cats I mean, it wouldn't be fair to instigate this when there'll almost certainly be tension in the house as a result. Cats are extremely susceptible to stress and their getting to know each other won't be helped if they sense an atmosphere. Worse still, what if your DH "takes against" the new cat .... as in ignoring it, pushing it away, or (and obviously I don't know him) taking out his frustrations at you on the animal. I know that sounds extreme - but it does happen, and it's not fair to potentially expose an "unwanted" (by DH) cat to any of that.

The only way you should get another cat is if DH buys in. So you have to talk to him - sensibly and objectively. And for his part, he should at the very least be prepared to properly explain his objections to you rather than saying "I've said no so tough". If he truly fears the existing cat would kill the new one, you need to talk it through sensibly. As others have said it's very very rare for one cat to kill another. Unneutered toms are the most likely to have terrible fights - but I currently have 4 neutered toms (plus a girl) and they all get on fine, they really do. Has your existing cat ever shown any aggression to neighbouring cats for example ? .... or does your DH have past experience of owning a cat who got into bad fights ? Or, is the "killing" thing the first thing he could think of to block the idea ? ...... does he have other concerns really, like the additional cost and responsibility, the extra work. If so, he owes you an honest explanation.

But at the end of the day, there's no law which says you have to have x number of cats, even if you do have one already. Agree that for their sake you shouldn't raise the kids' hopes while their dad says no.

catsmother Fri 17-Jan-14 15:10:58

Meant to add as well .... if he is genuinely concerned about how they'd get on, there's loads of advice about multi-cat homes out there from various shelters. He might be more reassured by "official" advice than by taking your word that everything will be okay (obviously no-one can predict how two or more animals will get on together until they actually meet).

E.g: from Wood Green Multi-cat households

(that's my black girl in that pic BTW when she was a kitten!)

WorraLiberty Fri 17-Jan-14 15:12:20

Me and the Dcs recently went to an open day at the same rescue centre, they took our details and we had a look at the kitties with lots of cooing and ahhing from Dcs.

Why did you do that if your DH doesn't want another cat?

YABVU. If any family is to get a pet, everyone needs to be on board with it.

WooWooOwl Fri 17-Jan-14 15:17:48


If I were in your DHs position I'd be digging my heels in too if my husband decided to completely ignore my perfectly reasonable opinion and then get our children all excited about the idea of the thing I really don't want.

You are accusing him of being stubborn and refusing to back down, I think you need to take a look in the mirror!

WooWooOwl Fri 17-Jan-14 15:19:29

And you really shouldn't have told your daughter she could have a cat without discussing it with your husband in the first place.

Terrortree Fri 17-Jan-14 15:23:50

My husband said 'no' to the first cat. She's gorgeous.
My husband also said 'no' the a second cat. He's rather stupid, but gorgeous (the second cat that is).
Now I want a dog. My husband has said 'no'.

They are cats, having one or two does not make a massive difference to your life. Having twelve, I could see being a problem. Two - no!

Bootycall Fri 17-Jan-14 15:39:32

not the point. you both have to agree. wouldn't dream if doing this if my dh was so adamant and I think it's awful to bring your dcs into this 'on your side' so to speak.

very disrespectful. maybe it's the vet bills and food bills etc.

sorry op you sound a bit like a child yourself.

mayorquimby Fri 17-Jan-14 15:47:45

Completely unreasonable

WorraLiberty Fri 17-Jan-14 15:48:06

They are cats, having one or two does not make a massive difference to your life

Of course it does. It's double the vets bill for a start.

AndyWarholsBanana Fri 17-Jan-14 15:49:40

I went to the open day because I wanted to hear it from them that they are perfectly happy to rehome cats to homes with other cats so I could feed that back to DH as that was the only reason he gave for not getting another one. I was hoping that, once he was reassured about that, he would change his mind. I just don't think it's fair that he won't even discuss it. I don't want to drip feed but he does this sort of thing a lot. He sees himself as the head of the family and his word is final and he doesn't see why he has to explain himself. We had 4 cats pre DC and he loved th.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Fri 17-Jan-14 15:52:46

Yabu. How unfair to take your dc to an open day when you knew your dh had already said no.

I love cats but a cat/any pet should be discussed and agreed by all parties involved.

WorraLiberty Fri 17-Jan-14 15:57:40

When the people at the cat's home said they'd be happy to re-home another cat with you, I take it you forgot to tell them your DH doesn't want another one?

If he sees himself as head of the family then that needs tackling

But not at the expense of a cat.

MyBaby1day Sat 18-Jan-14 07:29:51

Well not sure, feel mixed really. On one hand ALL of you should be on board, he may have another reason he wants only one cat and have not shared it. Maybe that your existing one won't like another one coming in on it's turf! ha ha. So really he needs to be on board. But on the other hand, you are an adult with already one cat (and 3DC's)!! and are well aware of the responsibilities (both financial, care etc.) a cat will bring so think you should discuss it. Maybe when your DC's are in bed, as lovely as I'm sure they are grin, when they are there it makes it more of a "cutesy" and fun thing and harder to say no to, but just the 2 of you alone can have more of an adult discussion. My friends DH wanted a kitten (now a cat) and at the time told her he'de pay any vet fees, care for it etc., now they have emigrated he didn't seem so keen to pay for it to be shipped to their new home, so even with adults you need to discuss it. Animals are a big responsibility, never underestimate that......but can be a total joy too!! smile

Pagwatch Sat 18-Jan-14 07:56:31

I think you were pretty mean roping the children into this.
Taking them to coo over kitties -whatever your excuses- may have felt like a good way to ramp the pressure up on dh, but if you can't resolve this you have just disappointed them and potentially made them see dh as the baddie.
Not good really.

Tell the dc you have thought it through and it's not a good idea at the moment. Then talk to your dh again without the baggage.

SiliconeSally Sat 18-Jan-14 08:13:06

Then you need to deal with his habit of seeing himself as head of the household etc head on and sort it out with him, not use a situation where there is already a conflict and bring the children in. You could have got the info from the cat centre on your own without taking the children and cooing over kittens.

Or you could have said 'interesting about the territorial thing, inhadn't thought about that, shall we seek advice? Because it worked ok when you used to have 4, but it's true, cat1 has been here a long time on her own'.

Deal directly with your DH and don't use the children. I can see that you don't want them to see him lording himself over you, that is the situation to sort out. And I agree it is obnoxious. How has he reacted in the past if you have just ignored him and gone ahead?

I am hmm at those saying there is no difference in having two cats. Doubling the price of food starts to look like a noticeable cost, insurance or double the potential for vet bills etc.

kazzawazzawoo Sat 18-Jan-14 08:22:08

I love cats and have always had two. But I think it would be very dangerous to go ahead and get another without your dh agreeing to it first. It's not fair to take the children to the rescue centre when you know he doesn't want another either.

Cats don't always get on well together, they are not pack animals and may fight. They probably won't kill each other, but one of them may be very unhappy.

What you need to do is have a chat with your dh about why he doesn't want one, a real chat about the whole topic, if he still says no I think you have to accept that.

Lolalocket Sat 18-Jan-14 08:24:15

'I went to the open day because I wanted to hear it from them that they are perfectly happy to rehome cats to homes with other cats'

Could you not have rung them to ask this? Or gone alone? There was no need to bring your kids with you and get them all excited. This was very unfair. You DH doesn't need a good reason not to have another pet. It should be enough that he doesn't want one. I don't want a dog. There are loads of little reasons that can all be overcome, but at the end of the day I just don't want one, and I expect my family to accept this.

ilovesooty Sat 18-Jan-14 08:45:55

Getting the children involved in visiting the centre was manipulative and childish and I doubt you told them your husband doesn't want another cat. You don't sound very concerned about the potential
stress for the cats.

Sort your relationship with your husband out in a grown up way and stop using children and animals to score points.

pinkdelight Sat 18-Jan-14 09:14:42

If you'd wanted to persuade him, you should've taken him to the open day. If he wouldn't go, then the worst thing you could do is take the kids and appear to gang up on him. And the worst thing you could do now is surge ahead and get the cat. 'Sorry I upset you' might be a better start.

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally against all the 'head of the household' thing and could never marry a man with such dumb ideas, but you picked him and have to deal with this cleverly if you want to get your way. Going behind his back would make anyone dig their heels in, even more so a man like your DH.


Joysmum Sat 18-Jan-14 10:00:06

I only have rescue animals.

You are VERY much being unreasonable, worse than that you are undermining your husband and disregarding his wishes.

If he didn't want another one, why the hell would you go to an open day and then leave your details?

I'd be fucking livid if my husband have my wishes such little consideration and then played games of emotional blackmail with the kids as a tool to get me to change my mind.

You owe him a huge apology and lots of grovel long to try to make amends.

I think everyone needs to be on board with getting new pets. It is a big commitment, expensive, especially if they get poorly. Its always a big decision and sometimes in marriage you do get deadlocks like this, its just how it is. There isnt a compromise position.

We are a multi-cat household. I love all of my cats, but at the moment due to a couple of them being very old and needing special diets and quirky behaviours and the younger one being a bully to them and wanting their special food its driving us absolutely bonkers at the moment. If one of us had been against getting any of them I think they would have hated them at present.

Chunderella Sat 18-Jan-14 10:17:35

YABU. It's not fair on anyone, least of all the cat, to get one when there are people in the house who actively don't want it. This is a separate issue from your DH's generally controlling behaviour, because this is one case where he genuinely does have absolute power of veto. As you do, actually.

And you were unkind to take the DC to the open day in this situation.

EmmelineGoulden Sat 18-Jan-14 10:31:13

I would be really annoyed if my DH took our children to look at pets when our last conversation on the matter had not ended in an agreement to get one. YABVU. Him seeing himself as head of household and not needing to explain himself is bad, but it doesn't make you reasonable.

MrsBennetsEldest Sat 18-Jan-14 10:34:34

As many above have already pointed out multi cat households can work but when it doesn't work it's awful. I have two who dislike each other and live on seperate floors of the house. They are 12 and 7. The old boy used to beat the girl up when they crossed paths. He is now poorly( kidney failure) and quite frail, I find myself checking to see if he is actually still breathing. If he sees her he gets so stressed he vomits.
She takes everything out on our dogs. I envy those with happy cat families. Please consider the cat you have and how introducing a newcomer could upset him ( girl cat was one of our farm cats, boy was house cat. Girl cat moved herself in house and refused to budge.)

Megrim Sat 18-Jan-14 10:35:30

We have a rescue cat (now 10) and the kids and I have always wanted a dog too. DH is quite adamant about not wanting a dog, and whilst I would really really like one, I can fully understand his reasoning. As a compromise we settled on a second cat, and I found a Siamese kitten (always wanted a Siamese as they are real characters). BUT, there was no way I would have done that without DH being OK about it, and I had a good idea our existing cat (then aged 6) would accept a kitten.

You need to tell the DCs that it's not the right time to get another cat, and discuss it properly with DH - he might have all sorts of concerns that he just hasn't expressed. And even if he does come round to the idea, don't rush out and get another cat or kitten, give him time to get used to the idea and accept that he has the right the change his mind and veto.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 18-Jan-14 10:35:45

YABVU, it would affect your other cat until settled which can take months and would mean costs of another animal to feed, vet bills, worming etc.

You sound spoilt and used to getting your own way. Presumably if DH went against your wishes you'd be posting how he had disrespected you.

WooWooOwl Sat 18-Jan-14 10:50:58

I went to the open day because I wanted to hear it from them that they are perfectly happy to rehome cats to homes with other cats so I could feed that back to DH as that was the only reason he gave for not getting another one.

You could have achieved exactly the same thing with a phone call that wouldn't have involved you manipulating your children into taking your side, or disappointing them when your DH still disagreed.

kali110 Sat 18-Jan-14 11:39:14

Yabu completely unreasonable and awful that you dragged your kids into it.
Multi cat households don't always work! I have 3 abd they don't get on! The one has to be shut in the living room at night so he cant attack the other.

ENormaSnob Sat 18-Jan-14 11:44:45


ilovesooty Sun 19-Jan-14 07:55:09

Is this another thread where the OP is told she is BU so she doesn't come back?

AndyWarholsBanana Tue 21-Jan-14 15:58:10

No, I'm back. OK I hear what you're saying and I am prepared to admit when I'm wrong. It's just that I know DH and I really think he's just doing this to be bloody minded, not because he would be bothered by getting another cat. Like I said, we used to have 4 cats and he loved them. Also, I absolutely didn't tell the DCs that we were getting a cat when we went to the open day, they knew their dad had said no. DD wanted to go just to have a look. I think she might have thought she could persuade him but I never dragged them into it. So Dave the cat will remain a singleton. Maybe a hamster?

The cat may well kill the hamstersmile it is my cats dream to be left alone in the bedroom with the hamster, not sure what he would do with it if he got it out of the cage.

To be honest i have cats because i wanted them, my ex said no, i ignored him and got the cats, but i knew he wold love them and he did.

AndyWarholsBanana Tue 21-Jan-14 16:12:06

teenage I think our cat is too soppy to kill anything. The only thing he's ever "caught" is a bread roll which he proudly deposited at my feet.

thegreylady Tue 21-Jan-14 16:18:46

I have always had two cats at once.Your dh is being a bit daft.If you do get him to change his mind go for a kitten and introduce it gradually. My 15 year old male Tonkinese adopts kittens if he can.Two neughbours have acquired new kittens recently and both times our lad goes and wowls on thir doorstep till kitten is allowed to play.When they get older you see our H trotting down the road with a kitten behind him.He teaches them to use our catflap, shares his food. His father, a stud cat, used to try to suckle baby kittens so maybe it is genetic.

Tabby1963 Tue 21-Jan-14 16:58:58

I am a certified mad cat lady but I would not get another cat unless my DH was on board. You wbu taking the children to the rescue centre and raising their expectations. I would have been angry too at being undermined and pressured.

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